Germany women’s national team is into the final of the Algarve Cup for the seventh time after a convincing 4-0 win over Norway in the semi-finals. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side will be hoping for their fourth title, having previously won the tournament in 2006, 2012 and 2014. The final will take place on Wednesday (19:45 CET) against the winner of the other semi-final between New Zealand and Italy. Lea Schüller put Germany ahead after 20 minutes, before Johanna Elsig added a second before half time (26’). An own goal (60’) and a Marina Hegering header (71’) sealed the win after the break.
National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg named a completely different side to the one that defeated Sweden 1-0 in the quarterfinals. Laura Benkarth was between the sticks, with Leonie Maier, Lena Lattwein, Johanna Elsig and Sophia Kleinherne making up the back four. Sydney Lohmann and Marina Hegering played in central midfield, while Linda Dallmann, Felicitas Rauch and Lena Petermann played as the attacking midfielders. Lea Schüller was on her own up front.
Germany started on the front foot but were just lacking that bit of quality in the final third. At the other end of the pitch, the new-look defence didn’t give the opposition a sniff and the team were finally rewarded for their efforts just 20 minutes into the game as Schüller got in behind the Norwegian defence for the third time of the afternoon, leaving goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskestrand with no chance this time around. Norway were hit once again just a few moments later, with Elsig rising highest from a corner and nodding her side into a 2-0 lead.
Norway then pushed higher up the pitch but still failed to create any real chances of their own, with Germany continuing to dominate the proceedings and creating numerous opportunities. First, Hegering’s free kick was too central to cause any real problems for the goalkeeper (29’), before Schüller was once again stopped at the final moment (35’). Maier Fiskestrand then forced the keeper into making a fantastic stop from the resulting corner (35’). Germany had the ball in the net for the third time of the game shortly before half time, however Schüller was denied a second as she was judged to have been offside (38’). Schüller was constantly proving to be too much to handle for Norway as she found herself in on goal once again a few minutes later, but failed to get her shot away (41’). Norway were still drawing blanks at the other end of the pitch, and went into half time two goals down.
Nothing much changed into the second half as Germany continued to try and navigate their way through the Norway defence and producing a few dangerous shots. Schüller found Hegering in the centre of the box, but her shot lacked the power to beat the Norway goalkeeper (49'). Benkarth was then called into action at the other end but the shot from Caroline Graham Hansen didn't trouble her too much (50').
Schüller continued to get in behind the Norwegian defence, but her effort after 52 minutes narrowly missed the target. Dallmann then went on a great solo run of her own, but her shot was deflected out for a corner (60'). It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though as Dallmann's cross found the head of Syrstad Engen who planted the ball into the net to give the Germans a 3-0 lead.
Not so long after that, Germany made their first change of the game as Pauline Bremer replaced Petermann and Turid Knaak came on for Rauch. It didn't seem to have too much of a negative effect on the attacking play though as Knaak earned her side a corner, which Dallmann took once again and put it straight onto the head of Hegering to make it 4-0! Dallmann came off the field shortly after as Laura Freigang was given her international debut.